Passport to where?

I do passport photos. Hundreds. Well some are for bus passes, library cards, Home Office ID etc. One bloke had some done just to show his daughter his bandages after an operation. Some of the best ‘characters’ are the people that come in for a passport photo. You get their life story in five minutes. It brightens up my day.

The only downside is that it’s traditional to hate your passport photo, and for a professional who tries to make every photo as good as it can be, it can be hard listening to the inevitable groan when the customer sees it in print.

And then I realised I had to do my own – talk about pressure.


I’d like to say I don’t know the criminal on the left, but it defines ‘mugshot’ doesn’t it? All that’s missing is a chalkboard with some numbers on it. It is in fact a perfectly acceptable ID photo and as good or better than you’d get from a machine. But professional pride wouldn’t let me settle for that, so I came up with the more handsome version on the right, taken only two days apart, but after a shave and a bit more sleep.

Please excuse the staring eyes – I’m trying to find the camera in a darkened studio without my glasses on, having set the timer, pressed the button, run round the front, sat down on a stool and caught my breath. You guys have it easy.

All of which made me think I should offer a ‘Posh Passport’ service – take more time, charge a little more, and get a few less groans!

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